Learn about virtual accounts

In this section, you'll learn how we treat virtual accounts at Bloc, how to get started with integrating them into your application, the types of virtual accounts, and the various features that have been built into the API.

What is a virtual account?

Simply put, a virtual account is any bank account that is created and issued via an API, usually provided by a banking-as-a-service infrastructure provider. Virtual accounts can act exactly like traditional bank accounts. They are protected by the same CBN regulations and can have NDIC insurance coverage.

Bloc Accounts allow non-financial companies to create and issue virtual accounts without acquiring a banking licence or owning a bank. However, these companies are still required to abide by the compliance regulations that come with the existence of virtual accounts.

Types of virtual accounts

There are two types of virtual accounts issued in Bloc.

  • Fixed Accounts: This type of virtual account acts exactly like a traditional bank account. Account holders can receive, hold and send money with this account.
  • Collection Accounts: This type of virtual account is used to strictly receive payments from customers. It doesn't have a balance and money cannot be sent out of it.

Virtual Accounts vs Wallets

At Bloc, there's an important difference between a virtual account and a wallet.

A virtual account can send and receive money, and hold balances; a wallet can't. A wallet is simply a store of value for a customer — you cannot hold actual money inside a wallet.

Here's an example of how it works.

With virtual accounts, a company can create and issue account numbers to its users. The accounts are owned by Banc Corp, and the users are required to complete their KYC information to be able to properly use the accounts well. All money received by the users are held in their respective accounts independent of each other.

With wallets, a company can create wallets for its users. However, these wallets do not need to have account numbers and the users do not need to complete their KYC information to own a wallet. All money received is settled in a single account balance, and the wallet system lets the user know how much of their money is held in the balance.

Here's a table detailing the differences between virtual accounts and wallets in Bloc:

Virtual AccountsWallets
Account holders are required to complete their KYC.Wallet owners do not need to complete or submit their KYC
Account details are automatically created for the account holder.They do not need bank account details.
Can only be funded via bank transfer.Can be funded via card, bank transfer, and many other payment methods. However, Bloc only supports bank transfer as a funding method currently.
Balances of account holders are held independently of each otherBalances of wallet owners are held in a single account balance.
Stamp duty is charged on deposits of over NGN 10,000There is no stamp duty charged on deposits over NGN 10,000

Bank Partners

Bloc is connected to 4 banking partners.

  1. Banc Corp Microfinance Bank
  2. Providus Bank
  3. Zenith Bank
  4. Sterling Bank

Our default bank partner is Banc Corp Microfinance Bank. Bloc owns a banking licence via Banc Corp MFB, allowing us to be able to offer fully proprietary virtual accounts and transfers infrastructure to our customers.

Banc Corp MFB is also directly integrated with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) infrastructure. All financial products Bloc offers that require a licence are duly licensed and compliant with the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) rules and regulations.

When you create an account with Bloc, we provide you with a Banc Corp account number as the default option. However, you also have the option to generate a backup account number from one of the other banks we are connected to.

This means that when Banc Corp account numbers are not available, you can easily switch and offer them alternate bank account numbers. The money received will be settled in one place and you won't have to worry about any extra reconciliation.

You'll learn how this works in the "Create Accounts" sections for Fixed Accounts and Collection Accounts.